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CECAN Webinar: Citizens’ Juries: How Public Policy Should be Made?

Online, 9 Jul 2019, 1pm
Malcolm Oswald

Tuesday 9th July 2019, 13:00 – 14:00 BST

Presenter: Dr Malcolm Oswald

Webinar Overview:

Public policy questions are often complex. Decisions rely on both evidence and values. Where should these values come from: politicians, public officials, independent experts, or the public?

A citizens’ jury brings together a cross-section of the public for several days, where they hear evidence from expert witnesses, and deliberate together to reach reasoned conclusions about the questions they are set. Citizens’ juries can be used in research, but they are primarily a form of “deliberative democracy” – a method for engaging the public in policy decisions that affect them. They can (unusually) be used as a means to make policy decisions, but more often juries make recommendations to which policymakers respond, either backing their recommendations or justifying why their policy decisions deviate from one or more of a jury’s recommendations.

There is growing interest in citizens’ juries and citizens’ assemblies in the UK and elsewhere in policymaking, and so these approaches are likely to interest those involved in policy evaluation.

In this seminar, Malcolm Oswald will:

  • Show you what a citizens’ jury looks like
  • Explain how to design a citizens’ jury
  • Describe how jury members can be recruited
  • Give reasons for and against running citizens’ juries
  • Discuss how potential bias can be monitored, minimised and reported
  • Explain how to achieve impact.

Presenter Biography:

Dr Malcolm Oswald worked for many years for the NHS on policy questions concerning use of health records. In his recent PhD in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence, he asked how, in a democracy, resources should be prioritised in healthcare. One part of the answer was citizens’ juries, and this led Malcolm to set up a university “spin-off company”: Citizens Juries c.i.c – a social enterprise that has now designed and run nine citizens’ juries in the UK in partnership with the Jefferson Center (the US charity which founded the citizens’ jury method).

How to Join:

This talk will take place via a Zoom Webinar – please click here to register for a place.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. In case you are unable to attend, a recording of the webinar will be uploaded to our website following the event.

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